The Mental and Emotional Tool Kit for Life - An REBT Approach to Empowering Young People and Helping Them Protect Themselves Against Being Used and Abused by Others
We have millions of young people who generate more emotion in their lives than is necessary or helpful in response to their life events. That they do so is part of being human, and understandable given what many of their life experiences have been. However, it makes them susceptible to engaging in all manner of unhealthy behaviors, even self-destructive ones, and being used and abused by other people in a host of ways, including sexually.
An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure. We can give all our young people "tools" from Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) and Education (REBE) that help them better manage their thoughts. Doing that will help them generate a more functional amount of emotion and empower themselves, thereby significantly reducing their vulnerability to being used and abused, and reduce significantly any purpose that could be served by starting and continuing to engage in unhealthy, self-destructive behaviors.
These same "tools" from REBT/REBE can also be very helpful to those who have been abused in some way, or are already engaging in unhealthy, self-defeating or even self-destructive behaviors. Dr. Albert Ellis always said, "Therapy should be educational, and education can be very therapeutic". People can do much to help themselves if given the right "tools" and shown how to use and apply them.
In 1969, in a speech to the APA, A.G. Miller said, "I can imagine nothing that would pose a greater challenge to psychologists and be more relevant to human welfare than to discover how best to give psychology away". REBE, and in particular The Mental and Emotional Tool Kit for Life is the way, and our schools could be the perfect place to give psychology away.
There are many outside-in approaches we can and must take to try to prevent the many problems plaguing our young people, including being used and abused by others. However, we also can and should take an inside-out approach to prevention that "hardens the targets" of such abuse by teaching them to better manage their own thoughts and feelings about themselves, others, life and what has or might happen to them. We don't currently do enough and never have. We need to start.
Outline/Structure of the Panel
I. A dysfunctional amount of emotion makes young people susceptible to engaging in unhealthy behavior and being used and abused by others
2. ESP - Estrangement, Shame, Powerless - three big risk factors
3. Teaching and encouraging young people to have Unconditional Self-Acceptance and Unconditional Other Acceptance for each other
4. Teaching and encouraging young people to develop and Internal Locus of Control
5. Teaching young people to recognize irrational thinking in themselves and others
6. The THINK-FEEL-DO Thermostat Model
7. Teaching them how to correct irrational thinking in themselves and challenge it in others
8. Why change is hard, and what it takes - setting realistic expectations for others and ourselves
8. Advocating for teaching the "tools" to all our young people in our schools
Participants will learn 4 factors that make young people susceptible to engaging in unhealthy behavior and being used and abused by others
Participants will learn the "tools" from REBT/REBE than we can and should teach to all our young people to help them better manage their thoughts and feelings
Participants will learn how to teach and encourage young people to have Unconditional Self-Acceptance and Unconditional Other Acceptance
Participants will learn how to teach and encourage young people to develop an Internal Locus of Control
Participants will learn how to teach young people to recognize and correct irrational thinking in themselves and others
Participants will learn how to teach young people to correct irrational thinking in themselves and challenge it in others
Participants will learn why change is hard and what it takes - to set realistic expectations
Educators, school counselors, mental health professionals, law enforcement
Prerequisites for Attendees
Attendees really need not know anything in particular. The beauty of REBT/REBE and the Mental and Emotional Tool Kit approach is that it is simple enough to be good, easy for anyone to learn, even with no prior psychological training. However, it can still be quite informative for mental health and other professionals with significant training.